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May 22, 2006

Freddie's Dead


The recent death of Freddie Garrity probably meant a little bit more to me than most people who may have read the news. I actually saw Freddy and the Dreamers in concert. It was my 14th birthday. I went with my girlfriend and another couple as I could only double date at the time, at an afternoon concert at Denver's Auditorium Arena. This was my second major concert. What makes that day memorable was that after having a birthday dinner with my family, I was hit with pnuemonia and spent almost two weeks at home.

Based on the photo, Freddie and the Dreamers look more like a group of junior accountants than a rockers. When you're in Junior High, at least back in those years, one can be amused by a "dance" called "The Freddie" which consisted on raising the right arm and leg up sideways, followed by the left arm and leg in repetition. I'm not sure if anyone actually danced "The Freddie" besides Freddie Garrity. As far as the concert went, the band was sort of fun to watch. Freddie and the Dreamers had the top bill, but musically came off as less interesting following The McCoys, famous for "Hang on, Sloopy", and a band from San Francisco that looked like a British invasion band, The Beau Brummels. Little would I suspect that by the following year, San Francisco would become the center of the musical universe as far as I was concerned.

Like many of the other British bands of the time, Freddie and the Dreamers appeared in a couple of films. I haven't seen either film, but the one released as Summer Holiday in available on tape. At this time, the two compilations made from the mid-Sixties television series concert show, "Shindig" are no longer in print. While not the main draw, Freddie and the Dreamers preceded The Beatles in their film debut in 1963. Hopefully the films and concert tapes will find their way to DVD the way some of the more obscure Fifties rock films have been issued. The history of rock music isn't just about the people who sold millions of records, but the eccentric performers who appeared and disappeared along the way.

Posted by peter at May 22, 2006 12:16 PM